Tri-Cities Water Follies ponies up for Playground of Dreams update. First phase now open.

The Tri-Cities Water Follies is providing a $75,000 lead-off contribution to rebuild Kennewick’s popular Playground of Dreams.

A $500,000 capital campaign is underway to complete the $1.25 million job.

The city and the nonprofit that puts on the annual summer celebration and Columbia Cup Hydroplane Races announced the donation Wednesday as the city reopened the first phase of the project to children.

The city announced in 2017 that it intended to replace the volunteer-built playground structure. Originally built in 1999 and reopened in 2004 after an arson fire, the wooden structure was past its useful life.

The city is installing a modern structure that better serves children with both intellectual and physical disabilities.

Crews demolished the structure in June. The replacement is being built in two phases.

The first phase, now open, features a cable-style bridge, a lighthouse and a Lampson crane and, naturally, a model hydroplane.

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The remainder of the project should be finished by Memorial Day, in time for the 2019 play season.

The memorial pickets that formed a fence around the original playground are being preserved for those who wish to reclaim them.

Visit the city’s Playground of Dreams site at bit.ly/PlaygroundofDreamsRebuild for information about volunteering, contributing or claiming a picket.

Wendy Culverwell: 509-582-1514